The 2015 Fort Worth Opera festival is just a week away from opening, and ahead of that comes the announcement for the 2016 season, running April 23-May 8, 2016.
This season features two operas at Bass Hall and one at smaller space, and the 2016 season will follow the same format.
But as opposed to this year, when one opera was taken off because of budget cuts, in 2016 the scaling back is because the world premiere of JFK has a much larger budget — about twice the cost — of most single productions.
“Our goal is to return to four operas, with three in Bass Hall, in 2017,” general director Darren Woods says.
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JFK, which has been in development for several years, is by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, the composer and lyricist behind Dog Days, which is in the 2015 season, opening a week from today.
JFK takes place on Nov. 21, 1963, which President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy spent at Fort Worth’s Texas Hotel, before that fateful day in Dallas.
It involves real and fictional characters who come in and out of the story in flashbacks and fantasy sequences, with two characters from a previous presidential assassination playing various roles as two of the three Fates from mythology.
“They didn’t want to tell a story that everybody would come in and say ‘Yeah, I knew that,’” Woods says, noting that shape of the piece changed a great deal through the developmental process.
“It has evolved so incredibly since the first treatment, it was almost documentary-esque at first. What they ended up with is fascinating. … You really see JFK and Jackie as human beings.”
The classic title on the 2016 season is Rossini’s comedy The Barber of Seville, which will be directed by David Gately, who directed FWO’s last production of this title in the 2002-2003 season.
The third entry of the 2016 season is in the smaller stage series, Opera Unbound, and it will be two new one-acts: Buried Alive, by Jeff Myers and Quincy Long, and Embedded, by Patrick Soluri and Deborah Brevoort.
A snippet of the latter was presented during the company’s first Frontiers series, which showcases segments of works in development, in 2013. Both operas are based on Edgar Allan Poe stories, A Premature Burial and the The Cask of Amontillado, respectively.
“Four or five of the works we’ve seen in Frontiers have gone on to further development and premieres, and some have won awards,” Woods says.
JFK and The Barber of Seville will be presented in Bass Hall, and Buried Alive/Embedded will take place in the Scott Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.
Tickets for the 2016 festival can be purchased online, by phone or in person at the Fort Worth Opera’s customer service office, inside the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St.
2016 season subscriptions are $26-$379. Single tickets are $17-$195 (prices subject to change). Subscriptions are on sale; single tickets will go on sale Aug. 1. For more information, call 817-731-0726or visit www.fwopera.org.